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Dr. Robert G. Linderman Retired
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Dr. Robert G. Linderman retired with more than 40 years of outstanding service to the Agricultural Research Service, the Small Fruit and Nursery Crop Industries in the Pacific Northwest, and the American Phytopathological  Society



 Bob Linderman

Beltsville, MD



Dr. Linderman received his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from UC-Berkeley in 1967 and joined ARS in Beltsville, MD, as a Plant Pathologist working on Ornamental Crops.  In 1973, he transferred to Corvallis, OR, as Research Leader at the Ornamental Crops Research Laboratory (now the Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory), and he served as research leader for 27 years.   Throughout his career, Dr. Linderman's research and vision have continuously had significant impact on the agriculture community with his greatest impact in the Pacific Northwest.  Dr Linderman is recognized for his expertise on diseases of nursery crops, mycorrhizae symbiosis, and other beneficial plant-associated microorganisms.  He has authored over 160 publications, including more than 100 refereed publications and 20 book chapters.  He has stressed research that addresses problems faced by growers.


Dr. Linderman advanced our understanding of numerous soil-borne pathogens and methods for control emphasizing the use of cultural and biological approaches to establish beneficial microbial communities.  His research on the Cylindrocladium disease complex on azaleas is the basis for our current understanding of the epidemiology and etiology of this disease complex.  His then took the research results to the industry and his work resulted in cultural and chemical control measures to sanitize cuttings that have largely eliminated this problem in most production areas.  Dr. Linderman is also recognized as an expert on Phytophthora diseases of woody plants having described and demonstrated that various Phytophthora spp. were causal agents (e.g. P. cactorum - root rot of rock daphne, P. syringae - Leaf spot and stem blight of ericaceous plants) and more recently he has worked on the host range, chemical control and modes of persistence and transmission of P. ramorum.  


Dr. Linderman also is recognized internationally for research on Mycorrhizae and his pioneering research on the mycorrhizosphere and the complex interactions among the resident microflora that affect plant growth and health.   This line of research advanced the use of mycorrhizae inoculum in nursery production systems by developing methods for mass production of mycorrhizae inoculum, demonstrating that plant seedlings colonized by mycorrhizae survive transplant better than noncolonized plants, mycorrhizae colonization increased plant growth and nutrient uptake in numerous plant systems, and that certain soilless potting mixes are inhibitory to mycorrhizae colonization due to increased availability of phosphorous.  He also demonstrated that mycorrhizae in combination with associated microflora can significantly increase other beneficial microorganisms (e.g. rhizobia nodulation) as well as reduce disease.


Perhaps Dr. Linderman's greatest achievement is his visionary leadership in establishing two regional Centers of excellence, the NorthwestCenter for Small Fruit Research and the NorthwestNurseryCropResearchCenter, and the corresponding development of a multi-faceted team of researchers at the Horticulture Crops Research Laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon.  These two Centers are consortia among the small fruit and nursery crop industries, Agriculture Experiment Stations of Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and ARS, that emphasize communication, coordination and cooperation on research to solve issues of production and processing of these crops.   Their past and continued success is largely due to Dr. Linderman's ability to bring together a diverse group of individuals with diverging interests into a group with common focus and overall goals.  In addition to leading the development of these centers, Dr. Linderman's has also led the Corvallis, Oregon Horticulture Crops Research laboratory from a group of 4 scientists and 8 support staff to currently consisting of 16 scientific groups with more 85 staff, graduate students, and post doctoral fellows.  The unit has developed regional and national recognition for its expertise in all aspects of research on small fruit and nursery crop production, as well as, an international reputation for excellence in understanding beneficial plant microbial interactions.


Dr. Linderman has been recognized by government agencies,  professional societies, and industry with the following awards:

1983   Norman J. Coleman Award, the American Association of Nurserymen

1987   ARS Scientist of the Year Award

1992   Distinguished Education Award, Oregon Association of Nurserymen

1992   Meritorious Service Award, IR-4 National Program

1994   L.M. Ware Distinguished Research Award, American Society for


2000   Lifetime Achievement Award, Pacific Division of the American

            Phytopathological Society

2005   Outstanding contribution of Promoting Date Research and Education

            Among the Growers of the CoachellaValley, California Date


2005   Award of Excellence, Coachella Valley Resource Conservation District




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